After not releasing a new model in a very long time, finally Audi comes up with the e-tron. As we all know, it’s an all-new, pure electric crossover that is well equipped and is made to be a Tesla-competitor.
Over the years, we’ve seen many Audi green cars. Good examples are the A2 TDI 3L and A3 e-tron, the latter of which marked the start of the plug-in hybridization era for the German automaker. Unlike all those cars, the e-tron launched last year is fully electric and a completely different creation. So it doesn’t have a combustion engine under its hood, although it does use a normal Audi platform.
What’s not less interesting than the all-electric car is the place where it’s built. Billions have been invested by Audi in its plant near Brussels, Belgium. Retooling wasn’t enough; the company had to shrink the plant’s energy footprint as well. The installation of a photovoltaic system with a total area of 37,000 square meters at the site is said to reduce power usage from the grid to only 5 percent. Heat exchangers have also been installed to reduce CO2 emissions around 4,000 tonnes of it.
Audi has recently released footage from the site that shows many robots shuffling components around with minimum human assistance. The footage also shows the automaker’s first battery-manufacturing facilities. These are big changes that have pushed Audi far forward in embracing electrification.
Audi knows how to make the battery in a different way in the same plant as the electric car. LG Chem is responsible for the battery design. And if you remember, the company was experiencing a bottleneck in e-tron production due to the slow supply of the battery.
Soon, the e-tron SUV will have a Sportback sibling, which should break cover a little later this year. A sedan is expected to follow after that, as well as the Q4 e-tron which will ride on Volkswagen Group’s MEB EV platform and will be manufactured in China.